Twenty-year-old Kuils River singer and songwriter Grant-Pierre van Wyk releases his debut album this week.
Called 0-20 it features 10 original tracks with an even split of English and Afrikaans.
The album draws on his life experiences and the musical journey he has been on.
“For instance, the first song on the album is Daddy’s Words. This is about my dad who inspired me through my musical journey. He is just a great role model; it is an appreciation song,” Grant-Pierre says, adding the album is an “honest” mix of raw vocals and instruments.
“Subjectively, I am one of those artists who like honesty, who shares those odd moments in my life in the form of songs.”
The hardest part of recording the album, he says, was choosing which songs to keep in from the 50 he worked on originally and which to leave out, so he could narrow it down to 10 tracks.
Both of Grant-Pierre’s grandfathers played several instruments and he grew up listening to country music. The album, he says, is country with a twist of rock, taking inspiration from British rock group Queen and American country singer, Josh Turner.
Grant-Pierre’s interest in music started when he was 12 after a parent at his primary school advised his mother to take him to singing lessons because of his “great speaking voice”.
But Grant-Pierre wasn’t content to just sing cover songs. He wanted to write his own music, which he started doing when he was 15. Later he picked up the guitar, went for a few lessons and taught himself how to play.
“I had done lessons on the guitar but it was a brief while because I wasn’t really committed. Recently I figured that it’s fun to play even if it’s just rhythm guitar, I actually enjoy it.
“My vision was that I always wanted to be a singer and a good songwriter. It’s weird because at high school I was told I’m good at rugby but that did not phase me because as I knew I would like to be a famous artist.”
Grant-Pierre advises up-and-coming artists to go for professional training but to sift through the trainers to get someone who is right for them.
He plans to go on tour and visit countries such as Belgium and Netherlands to promote his Afrikaans music. Grant-Pierre’s songs are on Spotify, Google Play Music and YouTube.